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European Cycling Championships

posted 8 Aug 2017, 01:49 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Shay O'Toole - Mon. 7th August 2017)   
Herning in Denmark was the location for the for the 2017 European road race championships which were staged from 3rd to 6th August.

Lakeside Wheelers Lifetime member Damien Shaw was once again selected to represent his country in the Elite men’s race which was a major honour for the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly rider. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances both Ryan Mullen (Cannondale Drapac) and Matt Brammeier (Aqua Blue Sport) were both forced to withdraw from the team at short notice leaving Ireland with just a three-man team. Damien was joined by his An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team mate Sean McKenna and due to the circuit being relatively flat, they were both charged with supporting the Carrick-on Suir sprint specialist, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hnasgrohe). 

The 241km race started at 11am and as the route was laid out to favour the sprinters it was a case of trying to protect your designated sprinter until the final few kilometres. Both McKenna and Shaw did just that as Bennett got to the final sprint in a good position but just missed out on a top ten position finishing in 11th place. He was lucky to evade a crash in the critical stages of the hectic finish so 11th is a creditable placing despite starting the race as one of the title favourites. The winner, by a tyre width, was Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) representing Norway from Elia Viviani (Team Sky) of Italy in 2nd with Moreno Hofland (Lotto-Soudal) of the Netherlands rounding out the podium. 

Having paid his dues in the form of a hard days racing to ensure Bennett was well placed for the all-important sprint, Damien finished in 112th position. The Mullingar man was delighted to have had another opportunity to represent his country against some of the best cyclists in the world having raced in the corresponding championships in Brittany last year.
 
Congratulations to Damien and the entire Irish team who had a great championships in Denmark with the highlight being Ryan Mullen’s bronze medal finish in the Elite men’s TT. 

Damien Shaw (R) pictured with Sam Bennett (L) and Sean McKenna (Middle) prior to the 2017 European Road Race Championships in Denmark.
Damien Shaw (R) pictured with Sam Bennett (L) and Sean McKenna (Middle) prior to the 2017 European Road Race Championships in Denmark.

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